Does this make any sense? Are the rights of women eroded through government cutbacks? Do regular non-political Canadian women know what Status of Women Canada actually does? And on the “schizophrenia” of Bill C-484… well, have a read. It’s a very, um, interesting take on it.
Mrs. Carole Lavallée (Saint-Bruno-Saint-Hubert, BQ):
…In the days following International Women’s Day, I must say that it worries me deeply to sit in this Parliament under a Conservative government. I was elected almost four years ago and I have never had to make so many speeches to promote the status of women. This is unusual. I feel like the rug is being pulled out from under us.
It seems to me that this Conservative government is attacking the promotion of the status of women. Some attacks are obvious. The most obvious, of course, are the cuts made to Status of Women Canada, so that the organization would stop promoting the status of women. There have been many other attacks. The most recent is Bill C-484, introduced by a Conservative member, a legislative measure that greatly concerns me. The bill has to do with unborn victims of crime. Under the pretense of protecting fetuses and protecting women, it would give a legal status to the fetus. This could mean sending women to prison for having an abortion. It would turn back the clock on women’s rights by decades.
I am surprised that, as I speak here today in 2008, I am forced to defend women’s equality, to defend women’s bodies and to tell men they must stop trying to legislate on women’s bodies. They cannot simultaneously be a legal entity and have another legal entity inside them. That is schizophrenia. I say this jokingly, but I am really very worried.
Brigitte adds: Yeah, and women cannot simultaneously be a human being and have another human being inside them. That is schizophrenia… (If that‘s what the opposition manages to come up with, I say we’re winning.)
Tanya points out the obvious: Bill C-484 states: “For greater certainty, this section does not apply in respect of conduct relating to the lawful termination of the pregnancy of the mother of the child to which the mother has consented.”
Carole Lavallée says: “This could mean sending women to prison for having an abortion.”
She may be on to something with this “schizophrenia” concept… there’s definitely some paranoia going on. Elevating the rights of fetuses to a little lower than those of a house-cat has the pro-abortion side “really very worried”? In her place, I’d be more worried about how out of touch with Canadian women I am, since 74% of them are in favour of the bill.
Véronique adds: You can go to prison for hurting a house cat. I’m just saying this to preempt comments about Tanya’s comment.